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Everything posted by KarlaKoaster

  1. Obviously it's speculation, but I think renaming the ride would be a good move as I think as a brand 'Smiler' is damaged. Merlin are all about "the brand", and I think with this accident and the ride's previous history the name Smiler will always sit awkwardly with the GP. I'm actually a brand consultant so this side of thing is really interesting to me, so I wonder if Alton Towers will rename/brand the ride, and will make a huge announcement to this affect. I can totally see when they plan to reopen the ride how they will go to great lengths to say 'we have changed this', 'we have improved that' and 'we have added this' so that this can never happen again. And there is no better way to underline this fact by announcing a new name almost as if they are wiping the slate clean.
  2. Smiler is weird, I can't work out if I like it or not... I think it's probably a high 6/10. It can be quite rough but I do actually like the layout and although it is loop after loop, there is a lot of variety with the inversions so it doesn't feel that repetitive. My biggest problem with it is that it feels like 2 coasters one after the other because of the mid course lift hill which seems to take ages because you wait at the bottom of it. I also agree with Ed Farmer. I always love Gerstlauer's layouts but none of their coasters have really shaken up my top 10 or even top 25 yet.
  3. My thought is that it is nice that so many parks recently seem to be willing to make a go of duelling coasters after Universal gave up on duelling Dragon's Challenge. I think Wingriders would be really well suited to duelling, but I guess it's just one of many ideas they're exploring at the moment?
  4. I am not a fan of the Daily Mail but that is a very interesting interview, and it is interesting to hear his thoughts and very sad to hear how it will affect his life and that of his girlfriend's. I understand how he's angry that the park didn't realise there was a stalled train. Even now it seems strange how an accident like this can happen on such a modern ride in a park that takes safety so seriously.
  5. The 1920 side friction coaster that was at Folkestone about 10 years ago. Other than that, it has to be the coasters at Blackpool including the Big Dipper (1923)
  6. I am giving up coasters and becoming an Owl enthusiast! That place looks amazing! I adore owls so much! I am loving living vicariously through you guys, I can't wait to get back to Japan. It really is one of my favourite places on earth.
  7. I like Sequoia Lodge, Newport Bayclub and Hotel New York. The Disneyland Hotel is very nice but a lot more expensive, while the other hotels are a bit too family-orientated for my tastes. Hotel New York is closer than Newport, but I do love the walk around the lake in the morning Newport Bayclub is about 15 minutes' walk, Hotel New York about 5 and Sequoia Lodge about 10.
  8. From the pics I wasn't sure what to make of the layout. It looked like it sort of gave up after the first inversion-that-isn't-an-inversion, but at the back of my mind I thought this would probably be a good thing and mean that it would carry a lot of speed through the course which having seen the videos it definitely does! It looks really unique!
  9. To be honest, with the number of rides they have closed with the investigation, they really shouldn't be doing phased opening of rides at the moment. The clip under Air could have been from anything. I'd be tempted not to share any of these sensationalist stories as they're all basically clickbait anyway.... they don't care what they report or how accurate it is, so long as they get the hits.
  10. That is absolutely jaw-dropping. I absolutely adoooooorrre the attention to detail - the outfits, the layout, the variety of jobs... I am totally in love this this concept.
  11. So the only erections at Efteling are coasters I think Alton Towers once did condoms for Oblivion if I remember correctly.
  12. With things like Spinball they've just said it's while they put into place new procedures and they say these coasters will be open pretty soon. They might just be doing a risk assessment for every coaster one by one but like you say for the multi-car coasters it's impractical to even consider running with one train on the circuit.
  13. I don't think it will impact capacity TOO much short term, just 30 secs or so for rides like Nemesis. Air is only running two trains but still using the dual station (normally they would only use one station for two trains) so that will make a bigger different I think. I guess it's just a belts and braces thing for the short term while they investigate in detail the Smiler accident. I don't think they want to take any risks while there are still questions to be answered. Yes that's true actually. I don't know how many trains X runs nowadays (I think it's probably only around 3?) so they might just be running that with two trains instead.
  14. I guess we have to take Alton Towers's word for it, but I would have estimated it's probably around 35mph. It is a very fast part of the ride and where the crash happened is as you come out of a very fast inversion. You can see it here at 1m 30s: This is on the coasters that are open at the moment and most only have one lot of brakes before the station anyway (eg Nemesis). I guess it is a temporary measure while the investigation is ongoing.
  15. Article on Towers Times about the reopening: http://www.towerstimes.co.uk/blog/2015/06/08/alton-towers-re-opens-for-first-time-following-the-smiler-incident/ Summary: Smiler merchandise has been removed Many Smiler references (signs, posters etc) have been removed from the park Trains are not being dispatched until previous trains have moved all the way along to the end of the brakes The Towers ruins are closed, presumably to stop people looking down into the X Sector
  16. It might be that they want to reopen on a weekday so that they can ease back into things. I would imagine the events have taken its toll on staff and also with new procedures in place they probably want staff to get used to them on a quieter day to take some of the pressure off.
  17. The BBC have been very good at reporting this accident unlike Sky. They had Justin Garvanovic from the ECC say a few bits yesterday and their news stories have had infographics on explaining in numbers just how rare accidents are, while Sky just love to scaremonger.
  18. I nearly posted the same. So sad to see one of the victims is described as still being in a critical condition. I hadn't heard any of the victims described as critical until yesterday, only as serious.... I hope her condition improves soon
  19. Sky is such an odious organisation and she is a horrible person with previous form. I'm glad most people on Twitter of all places seem to agree.
  20. I think you are right that the other blue things are so that the cable sort of follows the curve of the turn, otherwise if the car is a long way back from the motor the cable would be pulling it to the side rather than forwards. Love the slooooowww moooo
  21. 'All' these crashes? It's only had one? This is the ride/computer doing what it should do and stopping if it is ever unsure about anything. Expect this even more as the park will be super careful and incredibly cautious from now on. Not saying that they weren't before, but even more than ever they will err on the side of caution.
  22. Alton didn't want the lapbar only trains to begin with so I don't think they would install them just for public peace of mind. If anything it would spook people further having seen comments on Facebook when the ride first opened where enthusiasts were saying 'hi Alton why didn't you get the lapbar version of the train' and people were basically saying 'WTF OMG it has 14 loops, are you crazy?'
  23. I hope this doesn't make me sound like a horrible person, but if I saw a stalled car on a coaster, I don't think I would tell a member of staff as I would assume that they would be aware of the situation and working to fix it... and I certainly wouldn't think that the ride could be dispatched and then crash. Most coasters in general use sensors only around block areas (Near lifts, brakes, etc.). It is a rare occurrence for sensors to be used midway through a ride (cost is a big factor, and they aren't really necessary). There probably was not a sensor in that area, so the train wasn't detected. So unless maintenance overrode the error, there is a good chance that they overlooked the train and switched the train dial thinking an operator accidentally touched it. I don't think you understand how a block system works. A coaster is split up into block zones such as a lift, mcbr, launch, etc. Each block zone has a number of sensors that detect when a train is entering and exiting a block zone. For instance, on a MCBR there would typically be a sensor at the beginning and end of the brake run to know that the train is exiting the previous block and entering the next. The PLC will keep track of this up until the next block zone when it will flag another sensor and let the PLC know that the train has left that block zone and the next train is free to proceed. If that train doesn't flag the next sensor, the train behind it is told to stop at the next previous stopping point before the next block to ensure there is no collision. Just because there are no sensors in the batwing does not mean the PLC doesn't know where this train is. All the PLC needs to know is that a train has entered a certain zone and whether or not is has left yet. If the reports of the train stopped on the lift are true, that means the PLC did in fact know that the stalled train never left the block zone after the lift and was told to stop. Just about every roller coaster in existence follows this principle. Some more advanced rides like you would find at Disney/Universal utilize hundreds of these sensors to track ABSOLUTE position of every vehicle on the track. This is a more advanced (and costly) way of creating block zones. Also, from my experience I've seen some coaster control systems utilize a timer for block zones. Basically what happens is the designer will dictate how long they would typically expect a train to be within a certain block zone and add some sort of additional time on top. If a sensor isn't flagged within this amount of time after flagging the previous sensor, it would typically throw a fault in the system and bring the ride to a stop. This is the way a system knows whether or not a sensor is failed and is another safety measure put into place into ride systems. I think you might have misread his post because I think they understand that, they just were responding to grumpyfan by explaining that the sensors are normally only on things like mid-course brakes, lifts etc, that if a train valleys it won't keep rolling backwards and forwards through the same sensor because they're not normally installed randomly around the track on things like the batwing. There are of course exceptions like I think there is one on Rita just after the crest first hill so that the ride knows the train has successfully launched and cleared the first hill.
  24. The time for the ambulance to get there isn't too surprising for me... the nearest hospital (St Jude) is about 35 minutes away for a normal road journey just to the front gate, assuming that's where the ambulance was dispatched from. And I've known road journeys to Alton Towers to vary massively (we got delayed by, of all things, a cow on the road that had escaped from the Alton Towers land on our last trip! The security staff had a good laugh with us as we helped them find it) The delay in calling the ambulance and (importantly in this instance) calling the fire brigade seems a little long to me on paper... but it's always hard to know how situations like these pan out without actually being caught in the situation, I'm sure everything felt like it was happening at a million miles an hour for those involved Yep I totally agree, sorry if it sounded like I was criticising the ambulance service because what I mean was it seems like a long time, but the ride is presumably awkward to get to and so is the park. It must have been such a scene of chaos so as you say it probably isn't anywhere near as slow as it seems.
  25. This article has bit of a timeline following the accident. Basically: 13:57 - Management informed of accident 14:08 - Ambulance called (11 minute delay, but park first responders were on site quickly) 14:35 - Ambulance service arrived (that seems a really long time, but I guess getting to the ride takes a while) 14:41 - Fire service called by Ambulance service 14:45 - Fire service called by park It also has a few stats on theme park safety. 1 billion rides taken a year at fairs and parks, but only 1 death in the UK since 2006/7. 5% of accidents are caused by technical problems and 1 in 24m chance of being seriously hurt. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-33011347
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